How to Carve a Ham

Your ham's looking juicy, succulent, and ready to be eaten. Now it's time to slice it.


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You Will Need

  • Platter
  • Long, sharp, thin knife
  • Careful execution


  1. Step 1

    Place the ham on a platter

    Place your cooked ham on a platter, dressed side up, and allow it to cool for several minutes before slicing.

  2. Step 2

    Start at small end

    Slice straight down about 2 inches above the small end, or hock, for both boneless and bone-in hams. Use a long, sharp, thin knife for best results.

  3. Step 3

    Focus on thin slices

    Make thin, vertical slices for boneless hams to get the best flavor and texture. Serve immediately or refrigerate for ham sandwiches later on.

  4. Step 4

    Slant knife

    Hold the knife at a 45 degree angle and cut thin slices toward the straight-cut near the hock for bone-in hams. Continue slicing all the way down and partially around the bone.

  5. Store the remaining bone and any meat left on it in the freezer to make soups and stews.

  6. Step 5

    Vary the angle of the knife

    Vary the angle of the knife to get around the structure of the bone as you progress up the ham. Serve each slice to hungry guests as you go.

  7. In 1898, a Dutch butcher invented the first deli meat slicer, which used a patented spinning blade to slice smoked and cured meats into thin slices for sandwiches.